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Sean Cowen
Works at FNS Studios
Attended University of Nevada
Lives in Hicksville, Ohio USA
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Sean Cowen

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Ben Hur, or When Epic Truly Meant EPIC!

Whatever you do, add this to your Netflix queue one day. You have to say that you've seen one of the most colossal films that have ever been made in Hollywood. The stunning sets, the scale of the production, the lack of CGI like we have today - all will leave you amazed that a film like this was ever green lighted.

The Chariot Race - watch this and you'll get an idea of the scale...

The Blu-Ray Trailer

Ben-Hur is a 1959 American epic historical drama film, directed by William Wyler, produced by Sam Zimbalist for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and starring Charlton Heston, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins, Hugh Griffith and Haya Harareet. A remake of the 1925 silent film with the same name, Ben-Hur was adapted from Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ. The screenplay is credited to Karl Tunberg but includes contributions from Maxwell Anderson, S. N. Behrman, Gore Vidal, and Christopher Fry.

Ben-Hur had the largest budget ($15.175 million) as well as the largest sets built of any film produced at the time. Costume designer Elizabeth Haffenden oversaw a staff of 100 wardrobe fabricators to make the costumes, and a workshop employing 200 artists and workmen provided the hundreds of friezes and statues needed in the film. Filming commenced on May 18, 1958 and wrapped on January 7, 1959, with shooting lasting for 12 to 14 hours a day, six days a week. Pre-production began at Cinecittà around October 1957, and post-production took six months.

Under cinematographer Robert L. Surtees, MGM executives made the decision to film the picture in a widescreen format, which Wyler strongly disliked. More than 200 camels and 2,500 horses were used in the shooting of the film, with some 10,000 extras. The sea battle was filmed using miniatures in a huge tank on the back lot at the MGM Studios in Culver City, California. The nine-minute chariot race has become one of cinema's most famous sequences, and the film score, composed and conducted by Miklós Rózsa, is the longest ever composed for a film and was highly influential on cinema for more than 15 years.

Following a $14.7 million marketing effort, Ben-Hur premiered at Loew's State Theatre in New York City on November 18, 1959. It was the fastest-grossing as well as the highest grossing film of 1959, in the process becoming the second-highest grossing film in history at the time after Gone with the Wind. It won a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director (Wyler), Best Actor in a Leading Role (Heston), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Griffith), and Best Cinematography, Color (Surtees), an accomplishment that was not equaled until Titanic in 1997 and then again by The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003. Ben-Hur also won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director and Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for Stephen Boyd. Today, Ben-Hur is widely considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, and in 1998 the American Film Institute ranked it the 72nd best American film and the 2nd best American epic film in the AFI's 10 Top 10. In 2004, the National Film Preservation Board selected Ben-Hur for preservation by the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress for being a "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" motion picture.

#williamwyler   #benhur   #charltonheston    #OldHollywood   #movie   #hollywood   #epicfilms   #film   #filmmaking   #benhur  

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Sean Cowen

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The Normandie: On This Day In History in 1942, She Burned in New York City

The Normandie, regarded by many as the most elegant ocean liner ever built, burns and sinks in New York Harbor during its conversion to an Allied trip transport ship.

Built in France in the early 1930s, the Normandie ruled the transatlantic passenger trade in its day. The first major liner to cross the Atlantic in less than four days, its masterful engineering was only surpassed by its design excellence. The 1,000-foot ship’s distinctive clipper-ship bow was immediately recognizable, and its elaborate architecture and decorations popularized the Moderne style.

After the American entrance into World War II, it was seized by the U.S. Navy for the Allied war effort and renamed the U.S.S. Lafayette. However, on February 9, 1942–just days before it was to be completed for trooping–a welder accidentally set fire to a pile of flammable life preservers with his torch, and by early the next morning the ship lay capsized in the harbor, a gutted wreck. It was later towed south to New Jersey and scrapped.

#vintagetravel   #thenormandie   #ship   #oceanliner   #1930s   #wwii   #history   #maritimehistory   

I remember reading about this ship as a young boy, and even then, I was fascinated with its design and opulence...
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So beautiful
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Sean Cowen

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Continuing the theme of musical interludes for your day, here's a mashup of 57 distinct pieces by 33 different composers, from the Baroque to the modern day. And it works weirdly well.
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What's YOUR Geek Sign?

Creating smiles and starting discussions for years. I first brought this out in 2011, and every year it makes an appearance. Chinese New Year for 2016 is on Monday.


This year, it's the Year of the Monkey Spy. Here's an updated chart below. Happy New Year!
THE GEEK ZODIAC - in honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year! Which one are you?

Bigger Image:

1. Treasure Hunter
2. Robot
3. Wizard
4. Alien
5. Superhero
6. Undead
7. Pirate
8. Daikaiju
9. Time Traveler
10. Spy
11. Astronaut
12. Ninja/Samurai

This is my year coming up - the Year of the Dragon. In the Geek Zodiac I'm the Undead. + Soulful, transcendental, knows value of all life. - Haunted, tormented, difficulty connecting to humanity.

Dragon – 龍 / 龙 (辰)(Yang, 1st Trine, Fixed Element Wood): Magnanimous, stately, vigorous, strong, self-assured, proud, noble, direct, dignified, eccentric, intellectual, fiery, passionate, decisive, pioneering, artistic, generous, loyal,wise, humble, imperious, foresighted, demanding, intolerant, peaceful, impetuous,understanding, and blunt.

The Chinese New Year for 2012 begins on January 23rd.

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I'm Daikaiju. It fits me to a "T"
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Sean Cowen

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The '54 Gibson Les Paul Guitar That Was Lost for 30 Years ... and Found!

Peter Frampton holding his '54 Gibson Les Paul that was presumed destroyed in a plane crash. He gets it back after 30 years.

I saw this somewhere before and the story stuck in my head. I thought that was a bit of coolness there. Wow, thirty years later..

The Story

Peter Frampton’s long-lost guitar was recently discovered after its disappearance in a plane crash 32 years ago. In 1980, a cargo plane carrying Frampton’s equipment for an upcoming show in Panama crashed, supposedly destroying all of the instruments on board including Frampton’s cherished 1954 Gibson Les Paul. Thanks to the unyielding work of two dedicated fans, one in Holland and one on the Dutch Caribbean island of Curaçao, as well as the CEO of the Curaçao Tourist Board, Frampton was reunited with the guitar in an emotional meeting last month in Nashville, TN.

The Curaçao Tourist Board helped acquire the guitar from an individual after hearing news that they may indeed have a lead on the long lost and beloved guitar. Together in Nashville, TN at the Gibson Custom Shop, with experts from Gibson Guitar and Peter Frampton, the team confirmed it was the original guitar long missing from Frampton’s collection.

Frampton’s custom guitar was given to him in 1970 by a man named Mark Mariana when Humble Pie played at the Fillmore West. Frampton borrowed Mariana’s guitar for the show and afterward tried to buy it from him, “But to my surprise he said he couldn’t sell it to me—he wanted to give it to me!” he notes.

Frampton played the guitar exclusively on Humble Pie’s "Rock On" and "Rocking the Fillmore" albums. The guitar also appeared on a number of sessions for other artists including George Harrison, Harry Nilsson, and John Entwistle. *Most notably, Frampton played the guitar on the electrifying "Frampton Comes Alive!", one of the top-selling live records of all time.

Frampton is ecstatic to have the guitar back in his hands once again. “I am still in a state of shock, first off, that the guitar even exists let alone, that it has been returned to me. I know I have my guitar back, but I will never forget the lives that were lost in this crash. I am so thankful for the efforts of those who made this possible. And, now that it is back I am going insure it for 2 million dollars and it’s never going out of my sight again! It was always my #1 guitar and it will be reinstated there as soon as possible—some minor repairs are needed. And, I just can’t wait to get Mark Mariana on the phone.”

#lespaul   #guitar   #peterframpton   #humblepie   #amazingstories   #music   #musiclovers  


Humble Pie - I Walk On Gilded Splinters (Live At The Fillmore East/1971)

Peter Frampton - "Do You Feel Like We Do" (Full Version)
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Great to hear it survived 
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Sean Cowen

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World Cancer Day

All of us know someone who had died of cancer. All of us. It is the most evil, most destructive, "lives shattering" illness and it steals futures from us every single day. Today, we make the world stand up with one voice, and scream at the top of our lungs ... f*&k cancer!

World Cancer Day is marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. World Cancer Day was founded by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to support the goals of the World Cancer Declaration, written in 2008. The primary goal of the World Cancer Day is to significantly reduce illness and death caused by cancer by 2020.

There are multiple initiatives run on World Cancer Day to show support for those affected by cancer. One of these movements is #NoHairSelfie, a global movement to have "hairticipants" shave their heads either physically or virtually to show a symbol of courage for those undergoing cancer treatment. Images of participants are then shared over social media. Local events occur throughout the world - check with your local cancer charities for specific events in your area.

#worldcancerday   #cancerawareness   #cancer  
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Thanks for sharing this +Sean Cowen
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Sean Cowen

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Have a favorite story? My bother and I, along with my cousins, primarily used this as a method of torturing the younger ones. Nothing serious, just a messy way to pass time. Ah, memories!

Slime was a toy product manufactured by Mattel, sold in a plastic trash can and introduced in the winter of 1976 consisting of a non-toxic viscous, oozing green material made primarily from guar gum.

Different variations of Slime were released over the years, including Slime containing rubber insects, eyeballs, and worms and Masters of the Universe Slime for Hordak's Slime Pit playset in the 1980s.

The late 1970s also introduced a Slime Monster board game; the object of the game was to avoid having your game piece slimed on by a foot-tall plastic monster that had slime oozing from its mouth.

Other toy companies have produced their own slime such as the Ecto-Plazm play gel sold with select figures in Kenner's Real Ghostbusters toyline. Playmates' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles figure line also had Retro-Mutagen slime sold in containers and included with playsets.

Chemical components

The main components are the polysaccharide guar gum and sodium tetraborate. As an alternative to the polysaccharide, other alcohol-group containing polymers (such as polyvinyl alcohol) may be used to a similar result. These non-polysacharide polymer products are more often referred to as flubber.

Polyvinyl acetate (Elmer's glue), borax and water can also be used to approximate Slime's characteristics.

My favorite thing about Slime is what I saw written elsewhere: "Says it sold in 1976 for $35.00!!!!! is that true?????" sigh Clearly, it's someone with no sense of money (or redundancy in punctuation). Not many kids had thirty-five bucks hanging around then, when we could see a movie for a buck...

#slime   #toys   #1970s   #growingup  

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No, I don't think we did.... I'm also 38 now so memories have faded but I believe it was colored with food coloring. We sure went through a ton of koolaid back then though!
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Sean Cowen

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Turning Sound Into Ceramics

The two men came up with the idea of mounting a speaker below a 3D ceramics printing platform. Then they played a variety of sounds as the printer did its thing.

The vibrations from the sounds changed the printing pattern, giving the resulting pots a kind of knitted texture.

#3dprinter   #3dprinting   #sound   #vibration   #ceramic  
Forget the traditional potter’s wheel. The unique textures of these clay sculptures capture the vibrations of actual sound waves, thanks to a novel form of 3D printed “sonic ceramics.”
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Sean Cowen

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Rock N' Roll Forever

One of those perfect marriages of a font style and an image, rolled into one simply perfect statement.

#rocknroll   #music   #musiclovers   #guitar  

via/ ebay.
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Yes I agree about the font style; definitely brings out the Rock and Roll message more and makes it resonate more.
MUSIC FOREVER!!! 🎶🎶🎶🎶🎶🎼🎼🎼🎼🎸🎸🎻🎻🎷🎷🎺🎺🎵🎵🎵🎶🎧🎧🎧🎤🎤🎤
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Sean Cowen

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Non Classical Portraits of Classical Musicians

From some years ago, but still compelling, great photos...

"If you were asked to create a portrait for a classical musician, what would the picture look like? I guess even if you did the job perfectly, the result would still look boring!

Denmark-based photographer and cellist Nikolaj Lund decided to reinvent the portraiture of classical musicians by taking the subjects out of their natural environment – the orchestra pit – and asking them do strange poses in places like streets, oceans and deserts. The results are beyond amazing!

“Nikolaj is incredibly able to make photos “speak”; from the atmosphere he creates in the photos, it is really easy to travel into the picture and become part of it! I believe this is essential when portraying musicians; the lack of sound is totally compensated by the breathing atmosphere.” said violinist Isabelle van Keulen  after the shoot."


#music   #classicalmusic   #musiclovers   #bwphotography   #blackandwhitephotography   #portrait  

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Sean Cowen

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This Oak Could Have Walked Out of The Lord Of The Rings

The spooky specimen, suspected to be an oak, was spotted by Charlotte Laurie on a quiet country lane at Boxted, near Colchester, Essex. This is from some years back...

#scarytrees   #lordoftherings   #oaktree  

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Sean Cowen

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Mountain Dew Is Slang for ... Moonshine!

Today, Mountain Dew's name might seem like it is supposed to evoke pristine alpine conditions where the soda fuels feats of extreme athletic prowess, but its original meaning was intended to reference something very different.

The phrase "mountain dew" was actually slang for mountain-brewed moonshine, write Tabitha Waggoner and Jessica Davis for the Tennessean

#mountaindew   #moonshine   #sodapop  

Read more:
The original soda named Mountain Dew was supposed to be a whiskey accompaniment
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+Bearman Cartoons That song is also the first thing I thought of when I saw the headline.
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Public Speaker, Writer, Bookseller... Evangelist for Google+ and Founder of +Friday Night Sessions, +Helping Others, and +PORTFOLIO. Official Google+ Advocate and Google+ Partner.
About Me

As a member of Google+ Advocates (Official Google group (private) with 34 members worldwide) I always strive to help other people and I continually serve as an Ambassador for Google+. Now, as a member of the Google+ Partners (a much larger group: 15k members) I can help other Plussers with all of the facets of Google+ experience.

I started on Google+ back in June of 2011, and I think I've learned a thing or two along the way. I live on a farm in (I kid you not) Hicksville, Ohio. Surrounded by cornfields and soybeans. My driveway is a 1/4 mile long and the nearest neighbors are about a mile away. Yes, very Walking Dead isolated!

I tend to be an eclectic writer; I often post on topics such as world travel, NASA, literature, science, archaeology, steampunk, space, technology and sci-fi. I'm as apt to post about vintage retro robots as I am to post about a new tech gadget, or a book I've just completed. I'm a major fan of Tolkien and anything Star Wars, a fan of classic poetry and literature, and emerging writers. I'm an amateur WWII and Civil War historian as well.

My posts generally have some sort of wow or cool factor to them (I strive for the *fun and interesting* label always), and as I've done somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000+ posts at this point, I think I've put together a pretty good collection of writings.

My Social World

A bit more about me... I'm also a huge fan of photography, art, illustration, comics, music, and films. I've been a rare bookseller and book scout for over 15 years. Formerly, I lived in Prague, the Czech Republic (in Central Europe) for almost eight years where I managed a catering business, was a barista, rolled beer barrels in an Irish pub, wrote a few films, wrote a lot of poetry, rubbed elbows with Literati who visited Praha and where I was a bookseller at The Globe Bookstore and Cafe, the first English-speaking bookshop in Central Europe.

Places I have visited: Canada, Great Britain, Scotland, Ireland, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, NASA. Places I have lived: Iowa, Maryland, Nevada, California, Ohio, Prague, and for one, brief shining moment, Dingle Ireland.

I created +Friday Night Sessions and +Helping Others, as well as +The Google+ Traveling Book Project. I am also a very active page manager for +I Am Sherlocked and the creator of the fan page for Ryan Van Sickle (a great Indie musician on G+). It's called 
Bragging rights
For 2012, 2013, and 2014 I've been an Official Elf for +Secret Santa. I attended the NASA Juno Launch at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral: lifetime dream fulfilled.
Writer and Deliverer of Happiness
  • FNS Studios
    Owner, 2011 - present
  • Pool Netr
    Marketing Manager, present
    Nationally launching new product line for Westar, the Pool Netr. A brand-new product for the swimming pool market. An official advocate for the Google+ Advocates, and an Official Google+ Partner.
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Hicksville, Ohio USA
Big Bear Lake, California - Reno, Nevada - Huntington Beach, California - Prague, The Czech Republic - Sacramento, California - Gaithersburg, Maryland - Iowa City, Iowa
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This section will show you pictures and videos of our manufacturing process, from the beginning when we unboxed our steel mold, to our end p

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